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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

She received Lindau at first with robust benevolence


"I

should think she might have use for them in that family, poor thing!" said Mrs. March.

"Ah, that reminds me," said her husband, "that we had another talk with the old gentleman, this afternoon, about Fulkerson's literary, artistic, and advertising orgie, and it's postponed till October."

"The later the better, I should think," said Mrs. March, who did not really think about it at all, but whom the date fixed for it caused to think of the intervening time. "We have got to consider what we will do about the summer, before long, Basil."

"Oh, not yet, not yet," he pleaded; with that man's willingness to abide in the present, which is so trying to a woman. "It's only the end of April."

"It will be the end of June before we know. And these people wanting the Boston house another year complicates it. We can't spend the summer there, as we planned."

"They oughtn't to have offered us an increased rent; they have taken an advantage of us."

"I don't know that it matters," said Mrs. March. "I had decided not to go there."

"Had you? This is a surprise."

"Everything is a surprise to you, Basil, when it happens."

"True; I keep the world fresh, that way."

"It

wouldn't have been any change to go from one city to another for the summer. We might as well have stayed in New York."

"Yes, I wish we had stayed," said March, idly humoring a conception of the accomplished fact. "Mrs. Green would have let us have the gimcrackery very cheap for the summer months; and we could have made all sorts of nice little excursions and trips off and been twice as well as if we had spent the summer away."

"Nonsense! You know we couldn't spend the summer in New York."

"I know I could."

"What stuff! You couldn't manage."

"Oh yes, I could. I could take my meals at Fulkerson's widow's; or at Maroni's, with poor old Lindau: he's got to dining there again. Or, I could keep house, and he could dine with me here."

There was a teasing look in March's eyes, and he broke into a laugh, at the firmness with which his wife said: "I think if there is to be any housekeeping, I will stay, too; and help to look after it. I would try not intrude upon you and your guest."

"Oh, we should be only too glad to have you join us," said March, playing with fire.

"Very well, then, I wish you would take him off to Maroni's, the next time he comes to dine here!" cried his wife.

The experiment of making March's old friend free of his house had not given her all the pleasure that so kind a thing ought to have afforded so good a woman. She received Lindau at first with robust benevolence, and the high resolve not to let any of his little peculiarities alienate her from a sense of his claim


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